Falling battery prices may lower maintenance costs for Evs


Falling battery prices may lower maintenance costs for Evs

Source: FleetAnswers As companies and consumers alike look towards options to create a more sustainable future, an emphasis on alternative fuel vehicles, especially for commercial fleets, continues to grow. Electric vehicles are one of these types of alternative fuel vehicles. One of the factors that has limited the full embracing of electric vehicles (EVs) is the higher cost of the batteries used to power these vehicles. While the vehicles themselves are cheaper than fuel-powered vehicles for day-to-day driving, when the battery dies, the cost to replace the battery is excessive. Yet this is starting to change. The cost of the batteries for EVs has been falling significantly over the past few years, and now it is well below the early estimates about the potential cost of replacement batteries for electric vehicles.

Opinion still divided about the role of Evs

Experts agree that the future of fleet transportation needs to look into less environmentally damaging options. While the cost of fuel is going down, and that is a benefit for fleet managers, the environmental impact of fuel-driven vehicles has not changed. Where opinions are still divided is whether or not EVs are the right choice for this.

Electric vehicles represent just one option among the alterative fuels available to the modern fleet. They are not being embraced as quickly as some would like because many companies and fleet managers still believe they are too expensive to purchase and repair. High battery replacement cost estimates are often pointed to as a reason for this.

Yet, the cost is not as high as many think. In 2007, the average cost for lithium-ion batteries was $1,000 per kWh or more. That has dropped to $300 in just seven years, in spite of the fact that the sale of these vehicles has only recently begun to increase. This puts the cost for the batteries on track to reach $150 per kWh within the next decade. This may put EVs on pace with fuel-driven vehicles for the modern fleet within the next 10 years.

EVs now have potential to become mainstream fleet choices

Battery costs have not yet fallen to the point that electric vehicles can be a choice for the mainstream consumer, but they are getting there. This creates the potential that the fleets of the next decade, not to mention the consumer garages, will be filled with electric vehicles.

This, however, could create a new potential problem. As more electric vehicles enter the market, local power grids could feel the strain. This means that planners have to be onboard to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to support the growing demand for EVs.

Will electric be the fuel of choice for the fleet of the future? Only time will tell, but the options are promising. With lowered battery prices, increasing infrastructure and a greater emphasis on "going green," the future is bright for the electrical vehicle.